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Poverty & Inequality

How reforming India’s workfare programme raised private sector earnings

By randomising the rollout of improved, biometric payment infrastructure used to issue National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme payments in Andhra Pradesh, this study found that this reform raised i...

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Introduction to e-Symposium: Estimation of poverty in India

Estimates of poverty in India put forth in two papers published earlier this year – by Bhalla, Bhasin and Virmani; and Roy and van der Weide – have sparked the “Great Indian Poverty Debate 2.0...

  • Symposium

The post-pandemic global inequality boomerang

Global inequality has fallen over the last three decades, despite a rise in inequality within some countries. This article uses a World Bank database covering the years 1981-2019 to posit that the dec...

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MNREGA funds allocation: Honouring the work-on-demand guarantee

The Centre has sought an additional Rs. 25,000 crore as funding for MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). Based on simple calculations using official data, Ashwini Kulkarni ...

  • Perspectives

Covid-19: Impact on migrant workers in Bihar

The nationwide lockdown – imposed in March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 – left large sections of migrant workers in a precarious position, with livelihoods lost, and no means of public t...

  • Notes from the Field

Not by growth alone: The salience of redistribution in poverty eradication

Recent studies posit that per capita incomes of developing countries are finally on track to catch up to those of industrialised countries. In this post, Enevoldsen and Pande contend that this country...

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Covid-19: Impact on income inequality in India

Even as global inequality was falling, income inequality in India increased during 1990-2019. With the occurrence of Covid-19, the trend of increasing income inequality in the country is expected to n...

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Covid-19 and growing food insecurity: Insights from rural Bihar

Emerging research shows that Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the already undernourished and marginalised populations, by affecting their access to food and nutrition, and consumption patterns...

  • Notes from the Field

Spatial disparities in household earnings in India

The per-capita state domestic product of Haryana (India’s richest state) was 5.6 times that of Bihar (poorest state) in 2017-18, up from 3.8 in 1996-97. Differences in urbanisation levels and inabil...

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PDS, National Food Security Act, and Covid-19

Introduced in 2013, the National Food Security Act (NFSA) brought about fundamental reforms in the public distribution system (PDS) and most importantly, declared a legal ‘right to food’. Based on...

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Focussing on inequality of opportunity to sustain India’s growth

India has seen a four-fold increase in average incomes since 1990, which has reduced the share of the population living in absolute poverty from 45% to 20%. Yet, there are large and widening inequalit...

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How has the Covid-19 crisis affected the urban poor? Findings from a phone survey - III

While the devastating impact of the second Covid-19 on public health in India is well-known, there is relatively little evidence on its economic and psychological dimensions. Based on surveys in indus...

  • Notes from the Field

The changing demand for welfare in rural Pakistan

The proliferation of cash transfer programmes in developing countries has raised concern regarding a crowding-out effect on citizens' demands for investment in universal public services. Based on a ho...

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The Covid-19 crisis and food security

India’s national lockdown in 2020, imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19, threw millions of people out of work and sharply reduced earnings for those who remained employed. Based on data from mu...

  • Perspectives

Covid-19: Health and economic impacts in Indian slums

Initial predictions suggested that slum communities – densely packed, with shared water taps, and an impossibility of social distancing – would be particularly hard-hit by Covid-19. In this note, ...

  • Notes from the Field

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Most Popular Poverty & Inequality Posts

Wealth inequality, class, and caste in India: 1961-2012

The level of wealth inequality in India is close to that of some highly unequal countries in the world. This article assesses the long-term evolution of wealth inequality in the country for the period...

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Covid-19: What can be done immediately to help vulnerable population

With over 80% of India’s workforce employed in the informal sector and one-third working as casual labour, Covid-19's spread and subsequent unplanned lockdowns, have created economic havoc in the li...

  • Perspectives

EWS reservation in higher education: Affirmative action or vote bank politics?

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, provides for 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in higher educational institutions within the general category. In this post, Devi...

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